Labor Horror Stories

So one of my best friends was due yesterday to give birth to her first child and it's safe to say that things are not progressing for her... at all. That baby boy of hers appears nice and comfy and her body is showing no signs of going into labor. It got me thinking about labor and delivery and the time leading up to it... it also got me remembering an ugly little truth. Women LOVE to share their horrible and terrifying labor stories with you when you're expecting. The result?

Pregnant women, especially first-timers, are already stressed out and freaked out enough as it is. I promise you that it does not help at ALL when someone tells you about their 36 hours of labor, tearing from "here to there", or scary emergency C-section stories when you're about to do something terrifying that you've never done before. Yes, labor and delivery is a natural and beautiful thing... it's also scary as hell until you've experienced it yourself. Really doesn't help when everyone you seem to come into contact with has horror stories or knows someone who had "just, like, the worst labor EVER. Reconstructive surgery and everything!"

I, personally, had a wonderful labor story that sometime I will share on here because I think there are far too few of them floating around. And I know that I got very, very lucky and that if I have a second child, it could be a completely different story. I really think though that the stress and worry leading up to it was way worse than the experience itself.

I really don't think that the intent of these horror story pushers is to frighten someone though... I honestly think they're trying to share their wisdom and prepare someone for something they probably did not feel prepared for themselves. I think that's the fundamental truth of all labor though, you really have no idea how it's going to go until you're doing it. You can have the most detailed and thought-out birthing plan in the world but things happen and you have to be willing to adapt to whatever comes. The end result is going to be the same no matter how you end up there: you'll be the new mother to an adorable and amazing little creature.

Should women stop sharing their labor stories? Of course not. I would recommend caution though against going all out in the TMI category unless the mom-to-be requests the nitty gritty. And if that mom-to-be doesn't ask, you could just choose not to tell. You have no idea the stories that she's been inundated with so far, perhaps she just doesn't need to hear about another thing that could go wrong. Instead be supportive and let her do the asking if she wants. And sometimes? A little sugar-coating can be just what someone needs.

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